Johnny Depp's "Thin Man" remake won't be coming soon to a theater near you. According to Deadline.com, Warner Bros. has slowed down the process on the presumed blockbuster, with attached director Rob Marshall moving on to "Into the Woods." That leaves "The Thin Man" without a director, leading actress or green light; Warner Bros. has received a budget for the project, but nothing has been accepted just yet.
Per Deadline.com's Mike Fleming, the party line is that Depp needs a break. A closer look at the last couple of months, however, paints a slightly more bleak outlook. For starters, there was the Depp-led "Dark Shadows," which Warner Bros. released on May 11. While "Dark Shadows" has grossed a respectable $210 million around the world, it's profit margin is slim at best: The film cost a reported $150 million to make with many more dollars spent on marketing.
Budgetary problems are also at the forefront of Depp's current project, "The Lone Ranger." Disney is producing that reboot, and while director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer were forced to drop the budget down to $210 million, it has reportedly shot up to $250 million -- a number that Disney previously bristled at last year.
As an unnamed source told THR.com, "The Lone Ranger" is "out of control."
To make matters worse, Depp's personal life is in the news as well. The actor announced that he had split from his long time girlfriend, Vanessa Paradis, after 14 years together. The pair have two children.
Depp isn't the only blockbuster actor facing rocky productions: Brad Pitt's "World War Z" and Dwayne Johnson's "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" have been in the news in recent months because of delays and reshoots. Meanwhile, costly flops like "Battleship" and "John Carter" have left a big mark on the film industry.
"Our owners don't need us to swing for the fences at all costs in hopes we can justify our existence," an unnamed studio executive said in the latest issue of The New Yorker. "If we don't make smart decisions, they'll just reduce the number of films we make."
For more on "The Thin Man," and what other projects Warner Bros. has pushed aside in the last year, head over to Deadline.com
So why see Dark Shadows, on a weekend when The Avengers beckons you for a second look? Five reasons, and they're all females. Each of the actresses in the cast looks great and star-acts up a perfect storm.
Of all the morbid beauties in Tim Burton's work, the spooky goth girls and deathly pale boys, none wear their ghoulishness as lightly or winningly as Johnny Depp. And what a bewitching corpse he makes in "Dark Shadows," Mr. Burton's most pleasurable film in years.
As the door to Collinwood creaks open... we glimpse a powerful, almost Proustian totem leaning against the front porch: A Schwinn kids' bicycle, with a banana seat. I had already suspected I was going to love "Dark Shadows," even before that moment. But that's when I knew it for sure.
Some of director Tim Burton's costume parties are livelier than others, and the new "Dark Shadows" -- from the man who gave us "Edward Scissorhands," "Sweeney Todd," "Alice in Wonderland" and other chalkface-makeup spectaculars starring Johnny Depp -- feels like a place-holder, a meandering first draft of an adaptation of the supernatural soap opera that ran on ABC-TV from 1966 to 1971.
Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" is all dressed up with nowhere to go, an elegant production without a central drive. It offers wonderful things, but they aren't what's important. It's as if Burton directed at arm's length, unwilling to find juice in the story.
The film delivers precisely the satisfaction a sympathetic audience could expect from its director, not one degree above or below. The audience is whelmed. It's a whelmer.
Burton's greatest strength remains his visual artistry. "Dark Shadows" obviously springs from the same brilliantly ma-cabre imagination that has given us such works as "Beetlejuice," "Sleepy Hollow" and "Corpse Bride." But when the script is as weak as this "Munsters"-level pastiche by John August ("Big Fish") and Emerson graduate Seth Grahame-Smith, Burton is helpless.